A young woman fakes her own death in an attempt to escape her nightmarish marriage, but discovers it is impossible to elude her controlling husband.A young woman fakes her own death in an attempt to escape her nightmarish marriage, but discovers it is impossible to elude her controlling husband.A young woman fakes her own death in an attempt to escape her nightmarish marriage, but discovers it is impossible to elude her controlling husband.
A tale of beautiful but terrified housewife Laura(Roberts) who resorts to desperate lengths to escape the constant fear of her violent and controlling husband martin (Patrick Bergin) in which she lives faking her own death to be able to begin a new life far away. However, finding little peace she is still haunted by her previous life, a life which inevitably catches up with her when her husband discovers she is still alive and attempts to track her down.
Roberts can do the strong independent woman role in her sleep and make it appear effortless - a fact proved later with her Oscar win for Erin Brockovich - and in Sleeping with the Enemy she shows the early talent which would eventually lead her to that Oscar win. Meanwhile Bergin is suitably menacing in a rent-a-villain kind of way, all grimacing and intense staring. He does however have a rather interesting tic a form of OCD- towels all neatly lined up and so on which could have served as a rather effective tension builder had it been given further development.
However the film itself, while entertaining and diverting enough in its' own right, there is still something very standard and formulaic about the plot. For far too much of the film's (admittedly short) 94-minute runtime we seem to be waiting for the film to get going, and the climax arrives far too late and is too short, wasting the tension which has been built up. In addition, Kevin Anderson as Ben, the white knight who should rescue Laura from her fear, just does not seem to gel with the part coming off as slightly creepy himself rather than a hero, particularly in the early half of the film.
Overall Sleeping With The Enemy remains a standard typical early 90s thriller of which there were so many, no better or worse than any of the others. A curio for fans of Julia Roberts wishing to see her earlier career development in an effective performance, but the average plot makes the film a throwaway thriller which could serve for a Saturday evening's entertainment with a bottle of wine, but little more. Reasonable, serviceable but forgettable.
- Jul 28, 2008